Luther Elliss is coming back to Salt Lake City.

On Wednesday, the Utah football program announced it has hired Elliss to be the program’s new defensive tackles coach. He’ll work with d-end coach Lewis Powell.

Elliss spent the last five seasons at Idaho as the Vandals’ defensive line coach. In the fall of 2021, he led a defensive unit that finished the year ranked 16th in the FCS in sacks per game (2.82) while two of his defensive linemen earned All-Big Sky honors (Charles Akanno, Noah Elliss).

During the 2020 FCS season played last spring, Elliss helped both Jonah Kim and Rahsaan Crawford to All-Big Sky selections as the Idaho defense led the league in run defense. The Vandal defense finished the spring season ranked in the top 25 in the FCS in run defense, tackles for loss, and red zone defense.

In his first season with Idaho in 2017, he led two all-conference selections on the defensive line (Aikeem Coleman, Arie Anderson) with the Vandals ranking in the top-five in the Big Sky in tackles for loss, fumbles recovered, scoring defense, total defense and sacks. Elliss also saw the Vandals rack up 21 sacks in 2018, his second year on staff.

The Colorado native transitioned to coaching after a standout career that endeared him to Ute fans all over. Elliss played for Ron McBride and the Utes from 1991 to 1994. He went on to become a first-team All-WAC selection in 1992, 1993 and 1994. As a senior in 1994, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American and was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year.

He was selected 20th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft and starred for the Detroit Lions for nine seasons. Over the course of his NFL career, Elliss started 119 of 134 regular-season games and had 331 tackles and 29 sacks. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1999 and 2000.